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Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen has teased his fans by publishing the brief – very brief – foreword from his forthcoming autobiography, Born to Run, on his website.

“I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud. So am I,” he writes. “By 20 no race-car-driving rebel, I was a guitar player on the streets of Asbury Park and already a member in good standing amongst those who ‘lie’ in service of the truth … artists, with a small ‘a’. But I held four clean aces. I had youth, almost a decade of hardcore bar band experience, a good group of homegrown musicians who were attuned to my performance style and a story to tell.”

Springsteen writes that his book will be both “a continuation of that story and a search into its origins”. He notes that one of the questions he is asked most frequently is “How do you do it?” and that Born to Run tries to answer both how and why.
He also lists some of the qualities he suggests will come in handy should you find yourself playing in front of “80,000 (or 80) screaming rock’n’roll fans”, those being: “DNA, natural ability, study of craft, development of and devotion to an aesthetic philosophy, naked desire for … fame? … love? … admiration? … attention? … women? … sex? … and oh, yeah … a buck. Then … if you want to take it all the way out to the end of the night, a furious fire in the hole that just … don’t … quit … burning.”

Born to Run, due to be published by Simon & Schuster on 27 September, is one of the most anticipated rock memoirs in years. He has been writing the book since 2009. “Writing about yourself is a funny business,” Springsteen said. “But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.”

“If you were to ask any publisher to name a cultural figure whose autobiography would provoke the greatest enthusiasm, Bruce Springsteen’s name would be on every list,” said Ian Chapman, CEO of Simon & Schuster UK, when the book was announced in February. “Beyond being one of the most admired individuals in the world, he is a captivating storyteller with a unique way of expressing himself.”

The book will be accompanied by a compilation album, Chapter and Verse, to be released on 23 September, and featuring previously unreleased songs.